How to prepare internally for a successful Salesforce implementation
POSTED : February 9, 2014
BY : Stephanie Gaughen

As a consulting partner, we see a lot of customers get excited about Salesforce. And, for good reason – Salesforce undoubtedly offers the most powerful CRM and cloud application tools on the market today. But all those promises about increasing sales and driving business results can fall short without a successful Salesforce implementation.


Yes, Salesforce can lead to significant sales growth, but only when implemented correctly. In fact, any technology solution is only effective when priority is placed on a successful implementation. A successful implementation helps secure user adoption, and user adoption is undeniably the biggest red flag for organizations failing in Salesforce.

Getting started with Salesforce implementation requires strategies for people and process change ­– two things that don’t come easily in any organization (It also involves a robust requirements analysis that identifies necessary components in order for the system to work for your team).

Improving processes with Salesforce

Building a process improvement plan for Salesforce is what often comes with the most challenge. It requires a lot of strategic decision-making and many organizations claim they don’t have time to spend on such planning. After all, wasn’t the point of buying a shiny new app to save time? Yes, but somehow, some way, people have to get over that hump. They have to make time for transition planning and process improvements in order to see the productivity gains they were hoping for.

The good news is, once organizations have these processes figured out, they are ready to use Salesforce full steam ahead. Organizations that are successful with Salesforce run like well oiled machines. Everyone knows his or her assignment. They know their goals. They know the process. And, most importantly, they can focus on what they do best – selling.

Process transformation can be frustrating for businesses of all sizes for various reasons. For small businesses, analyzing processes and implementing change can be quicker, but they lack the resources necessary to hire a partner to help them with implementation. For large organizations, the process transformation required to effectively implement Salesforce or other technology is so vast that it’s difficult for one person to take on amid their other responsibilities. We also find that the culture of many older, larger, and more bureaucratic organizations makes it difficult to embrace a “change is good” mentality.

How do you identify processes that can be improved?

It’s not always easy to identify processes that need improvement or how to improve them. Sometimes it takes time to recognize a problem even exists. Either way, there’s value in bringing someone in from the outside to help identify pain points and how they can be alleviated. A good Salesforce consultant will have experience in this type of work with other organizations and may have some quick recommendations that make a big difference.

For small organizations on a limited budget, establishing a cross-functional steering committee with people who are open to new ideas and can communicate well with others goes a long way. A good brainstorming session may help set you on the right path. A business analyst can also assist with process mapping and visualizations. Or, talk to a Salesforce MVP at a local user group meeting – they might have some pointers.

Whether you use the help of a consultant or tackle it on your own, Salesforce process improvement does take time but it’s well worth the effort. Profit from efficency is key to determining if the ROI can be achieved on a project. If you’re having a problem making revenue gains, then you need to streamline and reduce costs. The only way you can do this is by finding ways to make things easier for your teams and allowing them to focus on more critical areas of the business.

About the author

Stephanie Gaughen

Stephanie Gaughen is a Senior Pardot Consultant at Concentrix Catalyst. She holds a master’s degree in media and communications. She has a passion for entrepreneurship, technology innovation, and next-generation marketing.

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